Using arts to improve the quality of life of older adults

The University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community (CAC) has received a $600,000 contract from the Indiana State Department of Health to design, implement, and coordinate a project that will improve the quality of life of older adults living in long-term care facilities through the use of the arts.

The Expressive Arts in Long Term Care project will educate long term care professionals in best practices for using visual art, dance, drama, music, writing/memoir in individual and group settings for residents living in long-term care facilities.

“We have assembled an outstanding team of faculty for this project,” said CAC Senior Projects Director Ellen Burton, MPH. “The arts are a key way to enhance the quality of life for older adults, especially those living in nursing facilities. By focusing on the wide spectrum of the expressive arts, we can help Indiana’s long-term care facilities offer meaningful experiences to their residents.”

CAC will host a total of six training workshops around the state, each four days in length. Faculty for the Expressive Arts in Long-Term Care project include:

  • Visual Art: Sarah Tirey, BFA, Associate Adjunct Faculty of Art & Design, University of Indianapolis
  • Dance: Heidi Fledderjohn, MA, BC-DMT, RYT, Dance/Movement Therapist, Facilitator and Teacher, Know Wonder, St. Vincent Health, Still Waters Adult Day Center
  • Drama: Sally Bailey, MFA, MSW, RDT/BCT, Professor of Theater and Gerontology and Director of the Drama Therapy, Kansas State University
  • Music: Rebecca Sorley, DA, Professor of Music, Director of Student Support, and Coordinator of the Music Business Concentration, University of Indianapolis
  • Writing and Memoir: Katharine Houpt, MAAT, ATR, LCPC, director of an expressive arts therapy program at a nursing facility in Illinois

The first workshop is scheduled to take place in Indianapolis November 14-16 and November 29, 2016. The cost is $100 for the four days. Long-term care professionals interested in registering may do so here.

Five additional workshops will be scheduled and held throughout the state. Each workshop is limited to 50 participants. There will also be two “train-the-trainer” workshops, two-day sessions developed to ensure sustainability for the teaching of expressive arts beyond the scope of this project.

Rethinking aging: Dr. Bill Thomas brings “Age of Disruption Tour” to UIndy

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Renowned aging expert presents Disrupt Dementia and Aging: Life’s Most Dangerous Game

On October 19, 2016, the University of Indianapolis will host Age of Disruption, a national tour that brings a radical new approach to growth and aging. The brainchild of Dr. Bill Thomas, one of the most innovative and creative thinkers working in medicine today, the Age of Disruption Tour will roll into Indianapolis in a rock n’ roll tour bus ready to engage the community with new and vastly more rewarding visions of aging.

The 2016 tour features two nonfiction theatre performances: the paradigm shifting Disrupt Dementia and Dr. Thomas’ signature show, Aging: Life’s Most Dangerous Game, featuring the unconventional pairing of a physician (Dr. Thomas) and a musician, Nate Silas Richardson.

Disrupt Dementia is a first-of-its kind event inviting people living with dementia and their allies to experience a new vision for living with cognitive change. This immersive and transformational experience turns convention on its head by focusing on what we can all learn from people living with dementia, rather than from experts and includes music, storytelling, and exclusive outtakes from a new film by Alive Inside director Michael Rossato-Bennett.

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Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders to speak Sept. 29

Joycelyn_Elders_official_photo_portraitThe first University Series event this semester will feature former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders as part of UIndy’s 2016 Katherine Ratliff Symposium.

“Dr. Joycelyn Elders: Healthcare Issues in the Minority Community” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, September 29, in Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center’s Ruth Lilly Performance Hall. This free event is open to the public and L/P credit is available to UIndy students. Online registration is requested. Symposium Workshops will take place on Friday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Panelists from multiple disciplines will discuss current health care disparities and what can be done to address these issues. Visit this page to register for the Friday workshop. For questions about the symposium, please contact Heini Seo at seohh@uindy.edu.

Dr. Elders was the first African American woman to hold the position of U.S. Surgeon General. She was known for her outspoken views and she served only 15 months before being forced to resign in 1994 as a result of her controversial remark about sex education. She is currently a professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

The Katherine Ratliff Memorial Conference on Ethics, Values and Human Responsibility was established in memory of Dr. Katharine G. “Kate” Ratliff. Dr. Ratliff was a University of Indianapolis faculty member from 1985 through 1990. She was a licensed clinical psychologist and taught psychology courses in the Department of Behavioral Sciences.  She was a tireless advocate for her students and clients and embodied a commitment to social justice and social responsibility.

UIndy hosts national geriatric PT conference

More than 150 health and gerontology professionals from the U.S., the U.K., Canada and Australia are on the UIndy campus today through Saturday for ExPAAC II, a conference on exercise, physical activity and aging presented by the national Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy.

Staples

Staples

The event gives physical therapy practitioners the knowledge and tools they need to help the growing population of older adults achieve maximum function and independence.

UIndy, home to the College of Health Sciences and the Center for Aging & Community, makes a logical host site. Dr. William Staples, associate professor in UIndy’s Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is president of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy, a division of the American Physical Therapy Association. Dr. Stephanie Kelly, dean of the College of Health Sciences, welcomed the attendees this morning. Dr. Stephanie Combs-Miller, director of research for the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, is among the presenters.

“It is an exciting time for the academy to educate our members about the importance of physical activity for older adults and the direction that our profession is progressing,” Staples said. “Geriatric practice is growing, and we hope to bring inspiring people together to ensure we keep practitioners on the cutting edge.”

Keynote speakers include Kathleen Cameron, senior director of the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center, and Howard Friedman, author of The Longevity Project.

PT students get taste of life with disabilities

A rite of passage for first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy students at the University of Indianapolis is an event some call “disability lunch.”

The students are outfitted with slings, braces, gloves, blindfolds and other appliances to simulate the effects of stroke, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and other conditions common to older adults. They then struggle through a buffet lunch and subsequent exercise session in an experience designed to help the future practitioners empathize with their clients’ limitations.

“It’s putting them in their patients’ shoes,” said Associate Professor William Staples, who hosted the latest such event Tuesday at the UIndy Health Pavilion.

More information on the Krannert School of Physical Therapy is available at uindy.edu/pt.

Legislative Update brings lawmakers to campus

Hale

Hale

UPDATE: The event also will include District 34 State Sen. Jean Breaux and District 94 Rep. Cherrish Pryor.

Local residents are invited to join the UIndy community April 27 as local legislators speak and answer questions about the 2016 General Assembly

State Reps. Christina Hale (District 87), Justin Moed (District 97) and Gregory Porter (District 96) are among those confirmed to attend the Legislative Update, presented by the Indiana Minority Health Coalition and UIndy’s academic programs in Public Health.

Moed

Moed

The event is scheduled 5-7 p.m. April 27 in the R.B. Annis Theatre of the UIndy Health Pavilion, Hanna and State avenues.

Attendees are invited to engage with the lawmakers about health-related topics and other issues raised during the legislative session.

Porter

Porter

More information is available by contacting Associate Professor Heidi Hancher-Rauch at rauchh@uindy.edu or student Any’e Carson at acarson@uindy.edu.

Joy’s House day service opens UIndy location

Joy's House - webThe new Southside location of Joy’s House adult day service will open Monday in a renovated Castle Avenue house just steps from the UIndy Health Pavilion.

Joy’s House, an Indianapolis not-for-profit adult day service, will host a Community Open House on March 14 to celebrate the grand opening of the organization’s second location, Joy’s House at UIndy.

The event from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. is a free opportunity for the public to tour the house at 1615 E. Castle Ave. and learn about Joy’s House activities and services for the elderly, the disabled and their families and caregivers. The organization’s mission is to help families stay together for as long as possible in their own homes, despite aging issues and life-altering diagnoses. Monday, March 7, will be the first day of business at the UIndy location.

The new site is adjacent to the campus of the University of Indianapolis and its Health Pavilion, a four-story facility that houses a Community Health Network physical therapy and rehab clinic along with UIndy’s academic programs in nursing, gerontology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, kinesiology, psychology and social work.

McIntosh

McIntosh

“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our services and grow our partnership with UIndy at this newly renovated location just steps from the Health Pavilion,” Joy’s House founder and President Tina McIntosh said. “The proximity gives our Guests easy access to health and wellness services and creates robust volunteer and internship opportunities for UIndy students. We thank UIndy for believing in the Joy’s House mission, and we thank the University Heights community for embracing our presence.”

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Feb. 24: Greyhound hoops, tours of new clinic

UIndy Health PavilionThe UIndy Health Pavilion, which opened last fall at Hanna and State avenues, houses the university’s health- and wellness-related academic programs alongside the student and staff wellness clinic, the Psychological Services Center and Community Health Network’s newest physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic.

Annual Pack-the-House Night is an unofficial homecoming for alumni
and a joint celebration for UIndy and Community Health Network

The UIndy community and the general public are invited to join in a big night Wednesday, Feb. 24, featuring NCAA basketball action, a buffet dinner and tours of the UIndy Health Pavilion and its key tenant: Community Health Network’s new physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic.

There’s also a chance to win an iPad.

The occasion is UIndy’s annual Pack-the-House Night at Nicoson Hall arena, as the Greyhound basketball teams face rival Saint Joseph’s College in their final home games of the season. The women’s game at 5:30 p.m. will be preceded by a Senior Night ceremony. The men’s team, now celebrating its 100th anniversary, will play at 7:45 p.m., with halftime proceedings that include giveaways and special recognition of alumni and faculty accomplishments.

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Student project pits music against dementia

Daily Journal photo

Daily Journal photo

A creative capstone project developed by a UIndy graduate student is bringing smiles — and maybe something more — to residents at a Franklin nursing home.

Laura Haw, who is pursuing a Master of Science in Gerontology through the Center for Aging & Community, wanted to study the effect of music on people with dementia. She was inspired by a documentary film on the topic as well as her own grandmother’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease.

Haw

Haw

“Often, music triggers these positive memories,” says Haw, who until recently worked as an administrative assistant at UIndy’s School for Adult Learning.

A resident of Franklin, Haw proposed and received a $2,150 grant from the Johnson County Community Foundation, which she used to purchase 43 MP3 music players and headphones for elderly residents of the city’s Indiana Masonic Home. Working with the staff and family caregivers of the dementia patients — and with help from her husband — she gathered information on each one’s musical tastes, purchased the music on Amazon, and gave each participant an MP3 player loaded with a batch of popular holiday music as well as their own favorites.

“A lot of big band, a lot of gospel,” she recalls. “There was a lot of country, too. Johnny Cash was a favorite, Frank Sinatra. There were a lot of people who wanted Elvis songs.”

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